Ritual, When You Want One

There may be times when what you need is a little focus. Performing some type of ritual may help. Think of some of the most common images you associate with ritual, such as prayer or meditation. What’s a common scene for prayer? Clasped hands, or palms pressed together. In meditation, it is sitting cross-legged as the Buddha or Yogis have shown us. Every religion, belief, spiritual practice has rituals. You may know of some that already call to you, or that you find useful for focusing yourself on your spiritual life.

Rituals do not have to be big and elaborate, they don’t need to involve yoga, fasting or self-flagellation. Unless you want to use those things. A personal ritual in which you move parts of your body and parts of your spirit will help you bridge your human self and your soul. If you are a soul with a human body that does not respond to your desires, you can picture yourself in your mind as moving freely.

From what you know and what you find through investigation, you can create your own ritual. You might create one to bring your mind out of negative self-talk and into a higher vibration. You might engage in one to help center yourself when the world feels like a tilt-a-whirl at the fair. The ritual can be unique to you that you use over and over, unique to a particular religion that you’ve adopted, or something that is only for a particular moment or reason.

I have a ritual I do in the morning even though some of the elements vary from time to time. One of my rituals comes from what I’ve read about traditional American Indian rituals, my experience with Buddhism, Wicca, and some other feelings thrown in. I thank the souls who shared their creativity with the world through prayers, rituals, songs, and words. From their work, I have found my rituals.

The following is a summary of the morning ritual I perform to get myself focused on my spirit life before my human life gets busy. Following the summary version is an annotated version for clarity about why I do certain things. I offer this as an example for others. Please remix as you please until you find the ritual that is useful to you.

I stand looking east with my hands to my sides, my shoulders, arms and back relaxed.
I raise my arms straight out from my sides, palms up and open until they touch each other above my head.
On an in-breath, I press my palms together and pull white light or sometimes lightening from out there (or up there) into me through the top of my head.

As I bring my hands down in front of my face, then down the length of my body, I imagine being filled up to the top with light.
I keep going until I touch the ground so that the light goes all the way to Mother Earth.
From Mother Earth, I pull a golden cloak up from the ground, starting from behind me, up over my head and down the front.
Once cloaked, I hold out my arms a little ways from me, with my palms up.
From my palms, I picture the white and golden light pouring from my hands, evaporating into the whole world.
I stretch my arms further out, spreading my fingers. I reach out to all souls in Indra’s Net.
When I feel the connection to others and give/take, I pull my arms in toward my center, left hand cupped palm down, right hand cupped palm up. Between them is light I have pulled in from Indra’s Net.
I move the ball of light to each of my chakras.
Having illuminated and strengthened my chakras, I stand back upright, arms at my sides. Now I bow to the directions.
Having done this, I feel I can now go into meditation.


The following is an annotated version of my morning ritual.

I stand looking East with my hands to my sides, my shoulders, arms and back relaxed.
This is a standing ritual for me, but it could be modified for those who cannot or do not wish to stand. I begin with the East as this is the direction of new beginnings, of the rising sun. I do this ritual and meditation in the morning, so I choose to face the rising sun.

I raise my arms straight out from my sides, palms up and open until they touch each other above my head.
As I make this maneuver, I picture myself stretching my butterfly wings. Why a butterfly? Because butterflies represent change. I am, and the world is, always changing. You might like to picture your angel wings, or simply your body stretching out and up beyond yourself. Stretching out to Mother Earth. If I feel scattered and want to calm down my monkey mind, I take a long slow breath on the count of five, hold for five, let out slowly for five. I do this as many times as I feel I need to get my own attention.

On an in-breath, I press my palms together and pull white light or sometimes lightening from out there (or up there) into me through the top of my head.
For me, I bring light into my crown chakra. This light is liquid and falling into me, into my body, like I’m a container filling up with light.

As I bring my hands down in front of my face, then down the length of my body, I imagine being filled up to the top with light.
This helps me focus on what light (spirit) feels like inside my body. The spirit-body connection. I keep my palms pressed together but by the time I reach my belly button, I need to turn my hands over so they are pointed downward, but still with palms pressed together.

I keep going until I touch the ground so that the light goes all the way to Mother Earth.
It flows through me into Gaia, all the white light giving her energy, giving me energy.

From Mother Earth, I pull a golden light cloak up from the ground, starting from behind me, up over my head and down the front.
This is much like slipping into a material cloak – I get it up to my waist and then I reach behind me and pull it up over my shoulders. For me, it has a hood too, so I pull the hood up over my head. Your golden light cloak may not be like a cloak at all – maybe it’s a poncho, maybe it’s a blanket, or a sweatshirt. The idea is that you feel cozy, protected by the golden light that is Mother Earth or Gaia. I actually go through buttoning my cloak down the front side so it’s “closed” around me. I also trace with my opposite hand, each sleeve, so I am fully coated with golden light. Now I am a body of white light that is surrounded by a cloak of golden light. I am also connected to the cosmos and to the Source of all light as well as my human home – Mother Earth.

Once cloaked, I hold out my arms a little ways from me, with my palms up.
To me, it feels like I’m holding out some birdseed in my palms for little bird friends to come join me. It is a standing position of offering as I feel it.

From my palms, I picture the white and golden light pouring from my hands, evaporating into the whole world.
In this visualization, the white and golden light is like an ice cube melting. Like water dripping down as well as evaporating, the light goes out into the world, through me from Source and from Mother Earth.

I stretch my arms further out, spreading my fingers. I reach out to all souls in Indra’s Net.
I am a jewel in Indra’s Net. Some refer to it as the Net of Light. I’m sure there are many other names for it. Indra’s Net has a very ancient and sacred symbolism from the Vedas (or, as I believe, Indra’s Net is a reality not just symbolism). The jewels are reflections of all other jewels, which are reflections of all others, on and on into infinity! The jewels are all souls, all Source. As Mother Earth goes through this time, we the jewels light the netting between us and hold the world together. That is, we hold the world and we, together, hold the world. I am not in this alone. You are not in this alone. The light between us on Indra’s Net ebbs and flows as each soul takes what they need and gives what they can. I picture light coming to me from others and when I feel very strong and overflowing with light and love, I send it out for others who need it.

When I feel the connection to others and give/take, I pull my arms in toward my center, left hand cupped palm down, right hand cupped palm up. Between them is light I have pulled in from Indra’s Net.
This part I believe comes from many sources but one I remember is qigong (I think). The ball of light that hovers between my left and right palms throws light out in all directions, including into me.

I move the ball of light to each of my chakras.
Red for my root chakra, anchoring me to Mother Earth. A rope or tail of red light extends from my body into Mother Earth, to Her core, where the color of Her molten center matches the red light of my root chakra.
Orange for my sacral chakra. I have not birthed children and am now a Crone, so I don’t picture reproductive energy but I do feel creative energy from this chakra. Those who have children, had children, will have children, this light may be for the health of your children to be, your wonderous creation for souls.
Yellow for my solar plexus chakra. My Will, my connection to The Flow of the Universe.
Green and mint lights for my Hearts chakra. That’s not a typo – my hearts, two. My soul heart and my ascended heart. They fill my upper chest cavity with deep green light (soul heart) and mint green light (ascended heart).
Deep, deep blue for my throat chakra. My communication and truth-telling chakra. It is a deep lapis lazuli blue. Deep, deep blue. The bluest blue I can picture.
A purplish blue illuminates my third eye – my insight (intuition) chakra. It is a deep purplish blue, like a nice ripe plum. That really saturated purple-blue color. I heard someone say that this color doesn’t exist as light, it’s only as a material color (like paint) where such a color is seen. But I think my chakras can be any color they are. They exist on a plain outside of earthbound light, or paint, or even human vision.
At last, white light for my crown chakra. The light of my crown and the white light of the universe meet here. Sometimes I imagine this union turning the light into a diamond-like sparkle, clear of any color but reflecting all colors.

Having illuminated and strengthened my chakras, I stand back upright, arms at my sides. Now I bow to the directions.
I bow slightly to the East and say “Thank you, spirits of the East who work for the highest good. Thank you for being with me today and always.” Sometimes what I say changes so that I have a variety to make sure I don’t let my gratitude become rote words. I might recognize something that’s important that day or simply whatever feeling arises. But I always say thank you.
I turn to my right, which is the South, and thank the spirits of the South in the same way, saying “Thank you, spirits of the South who work for the highest good. Thank you for being with me today and always.” For any of the directions, I think of something specific that the direction represents (to me or in general) and thank the spirits for that. Two things that remain the same are thanking the spirits and acknowledging only those spirits working for the highest good. Since the highest good is also my goal, it puts me in good company.
I turn right again and thank the spirits of the West who work for the highest good, saying “Thank you, spirits of the West who work for the highest good. Thank you for being with me today and always.”
I turn right again and thank the North, saying “Thank you, spirits of the North who work for the highest good. Thank you for being with me today and always.” For me, my Grand Council lives in the North. I picture a group of beings sometimes sitting behind a table, sometimes sitting in a semi-circle facing me. They are usually The Grandmothers, but may include other beings. I have great reverence for this Council and give them extra thanks for taking time to guide me in love.
I stretch my arms above my head and thank the spirits in the Above in the same way as the other directions, saying “Thank you, spirits of the Above who work for the highest good. Thank you for being with me today and always.”
Spreading my fingers wide, I crouch down, touching the floor and thank the spirits in the Below in the same way as the other directions, saying “Thank you, spirits of the Below who work for the highest good. Thank you for being with me today and always.”

Having done this, I feel I can now go into meditation.
My place of meditation happens to be a chair in a quiet room. Some people prefer a meditation cushion, some simply get on their knees, some maybe lie down on a bed, yoga mat, or the floor. Flat-footed, or in yogic corpse pose, I am focused and can go into a quiet place in me to speak to my hearts, my Higher Self, to the loving Spirit Guides who are there for me always.

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